High-temperature polymers with record-high breakdown strength enabled by rationally designed chain-packing behavior in blends

Qiyan Zhang, Xin Chen, Bing Zhang, Tian Zhang, Wengchang Lu, Zhe Chen, Ziyu Liu, Seong H. Kim, Brian Donovan, Ronald J. Warzoha, Enrique D. Gomez, J. Bernholc, Q. M. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Polymers with high dielectric breakdown strength (Eb) over a broad temperature range are vital for many applications. The presence of weak points, such as voids and free volume, severely limit the Eb of many high-temperature polymers. Here, we present a general strategy to reduce these weak points by exploiting interchain electrostatic forces in polymer blends. We show that the strong interchain electrostatic interaction between two high-temperature polymers in blends of polyimide (PI) with poly(ether imide) (PEI) yields an extended polymer chain conformation, resulting in dense chain packing and a corresponding decrease in weak spots in the polymers. This leads to a greater than 65% enhancement of Eb at room temperature and 35% enhancement at 200°C. In conjunction with results from blends of PI/poly(1,4-phenylene ether-sulfone) (PSU) and blends of PEI/PSU, we show that this previously unexplored molecular engineering strategy is efficient and straightforward in minimizing weak points in dielectric polymers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2448-2459
Number of pages12
JournalMatter
Volume4
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 7 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)

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